Federal Loans

Student must be degree seeking and enrolled at least half time in order to qualify for federal loans.  Federal loans require the student to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Please review the information below to learn the different types of Federal loans offered by the Department of Education.  Need-based loans are determined by the student's expected family contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA and the Cost of Attendance (COA).

Direct Loan Program

There are two types of Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. The type for which you qualify is based on the FAFSA information. The maximum loan eligibility each year is based on total credit hours earned and dependency status. Repayment for the Stafford loan begins six months after you are no longer attending at least six credit hours. New students will need to complete online entrance counseling and a master promissory note in order to receive their loan. Maximum loan amounts for the 2012/2013 academic year are as follows:

Dependent Students

  • $5,500 (up to $3,500 subsidized) first year students.
  • $6,500 (up to $4,500 subsidized) for second year students.
  • $7,500 (up to $5,500 subsidized) for junior and senior students.
Independent Students
  • $9,500 (up to $3,500 subsidized) first year students.
  • $10.500 (up to $4,500 subsidized) for second year students.
  • $12,500 (up to $5,500 subsidized) for junior and senior students.


The federal government pays the loan interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program and during a six month grace period after the student leaves school. Qualification for a subsidized loan is determined by the FAFSA. Repayment interest on a subsidized loan for undergraduate and graduate student loans is a fixed interest rate.


Students who do not qualify, in whole or in part, for a subsidized loan can still receive an unsubsidized loan. These loans have a fixed annual interest rate that accrues once the loan is paid to the students account.  Students have the option to pay the interest while they are attending college.

Students usually receive a Direct Loan for an entire academic year (two semesters); with one half of the total loan amount being disbursed each semester. Funds are automatically credited to the student's account in the Cornerstone University Accounting and Finance Office.

In order to receive a Federal Direct Student Loan at Cornerstone University, you must be able to answer yes to the following statements:

  1. You have been admitted to Cornerstone University.
  2. You have applied for federal financial aid through the FAFSA form, it has been processed and Cornerstone University has received the results.
  3. Your financial aid application has been reviewed by Cornerstone University Student Financial Services Office and a financial aid award notification has been sent to you for the academic year for which you want the loan.
  4. You have completed the Direct Loan entrance counseling with Cornerstone University.

If you meet all of the conditions mentioned above, you are now ready to complete your Direct Master Promissory Note. You will be directed to an external website to complete this process.

Complete the entrance counseling and/or master promissory note.

Perkins Loan Program

A federal Perkins loan is a need based, low-interest, 5% fixed rate loan offered to a limited number of students who show exceptional financial need. Federal Perkins loans are made available through the university who acts as the lender. All Perkins loans are subsidized, meaning that the interest is paid by the federal government while the student is enrolled in a minimum of six credits in a degree seeking program. Repayment begins nine months after the student is no longer attending at least half time. Entrance counseling and a master promissory note will be required of all first-time borrowers.

PLUS Loan (Parent and Grad)

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. This is a federal loan. Eligibility for this loan is not based on financial need or family income; the applicant will undergo a credit check. The maximum loan amount is the total cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student may receive. Repayment may begin as early as 60 days after disbursement; deferment is possible. The PLUS Loan is a fixed rate loan  with a 4% origination fee will be deducted from the amount of the loan. Example: School balance = $5,000 with 4% fee. Gross loan amount to request: $5,000/.96= $5,208. Even if you have had a PLUS loan in prior years, federal regulations require you to reapply through the Direct Loan process. You will be given the option to cover the balance of the bill or obtain the maximum allowed under cost of attendance. If a parent is denied a PLUS loan, the student may receive additional unsubsidized loan funds.


Apply now for a Parent Plus Loan.


Loan Interest Rates

Direct loan/Pus interest rates will vary from year to year but will not exceed the interest rate cap.  Interest rates will be fixed for the life the loan.  Loan interest rates are summarized below.

Loan type

Interest rate for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2013

Interest rate cap

Undergraduate direct loans



Graduate direct loans



PLUS (Parent and Grad)



Alternative loans

Alternative loans are available to help meet education costs not covered by federal, state, institutional financial aid and personal resources. These loans are provided by a bank, require a credit check and usually require a cosigner. To view a list of lenders for the school year and to apply for a loan, go to the external Web site, FastChoice.
If you decide to use an alternative loan, we encourage you to select one of our primary lenders. If you select a primary lender, the amount of your alternative loan will be reflected on your tuition statement. For any questions about alternative loan please contact Student Financial Services.

Once you are approved for a loan, review the interest rate and fees that will be charged for your loan.

Applications for alternative loans should be completed by August 15 for fall semester (Dec 15 for spring semester). Applications completed after August 15 (Dec 15 for spring semester) may cause delays in the loan approval. Loans not approved by August 24 for fall semester (Jan 1 for spring semester) may result in late fees on the student account.

Exit Counseling

When you have graduated or are no longer attending Cornerstone University you need to update your records for the Federal Student Loan Program. This includes your contact and reference information. Please click on the link below to proceed with the exit counseling form. This is an online form and does not need to be done in the office.

Begin Exit Counseling


Code of Conduct Related to Private Student Loan Activities

Policy Statement

Cornerstone University (CU) employees are committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. As a participant in student loan programs, CU is required to have a code of conduct related to student loan activities applicable to the institution’s officers, employees and agents. In addition to the university conflict of interest policy, the Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities is an additional requirement specific to certain transactions and financial aid related matters.
Lenders in the Cornerstone University student loan program are selected and approved by Student Financial Services staff on the basis of whether or not the lender chooses to participate in the electronic process through Scholarnet and the Great Lakes Central Disbursing system. Lender disclosure statements are on file in the Student Financial Services office.

Code of Conduct

CU employees will abide by the following Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities. This Code of Conduct is supplemental to existing university policies related to conflicts of interest.

  • CU bans any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender, whether for institutional or personal gain.
  • CU does not allow any officer, officer’s family member, person involved with student loans, or his/her family member to either solicit or accept gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer of student loans where that gift has more than a de minimis value.
  • CU does not allow its Student Financial Services staff or anyone in a position of having influence over student loan decisions to consult or contract with lenders for a financial benefit.
  • CU will not assign a borrower's loan to a particular lender or refuse to certify any loan based on a borrower’s selection of a lender.
  • CU will not request or accept any offer for student loan funds in exchange for: (1) a specified number of loans made or (2) a specific loan volume.
  • CU will not accept any offer from any lender to provide call center staffing or financial aid office assistance.
  • Members of the Student Financial Services staff at CU will not accept anything of value for serving on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor or group of lenders.

How we select lenders:

Cornerstone University seeks to connect our students with lenders who will provide them the best service and borrower benefits. We review our lenders’ performance and benefits annually. The most recent review was completed June 2011.

For the current list of preferred lenders, we reviewed information provided by several lenders to select the lenders who would best serve our students. In the process, we rated items such as service to the student, service to the school, business model, and other items to determine which lenders would be selected.
Students are welcome to select lenders not included on the lists and have the right to do so under federal rules. If you select a lender that is not on our list, you will need to provide Cornerstone the information necessary to process a loan with the lender. To determine what information is needed, please contact the student financial services office at 616.222.1424.


Violations of university policies, including the failure to avoid a prohibited activity or disclose a conflict of interest in timely manner, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable university policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the institution.

Title IV Code of Conduct